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About the Dawn Raids

The Dawn Raids chapter of our history started in the 1970s and represents a low point in the relationship between the Government and Pacific communities.

At this time, the New Zealand Police was instructed to enter homes or stop people on the street and ask for documents that proved a person’s right to be in the country. This method targeted Pacific peoples, even though most alleged overstayers at this time were from Europe or North America.

Police and Immigration officials, often accompanied by dogs, undertook late night and early morning (dawn) raids of homes of Pacific families.

Reconciliation and healing

As part of the Government’s commitment to contribute to the healing and reconciliation for Pacific communities impacted by the Dawn Raids, we are developing an online platform to support the telling of these histories by Pacific peoples.

The Government announced the Dawn Raids online platform in 2021 during its formal apology to the Pacific peoples, alongside three other initiatives:

  • the Teu le Va Dawn Raids and History Community Fund
  • the Vaka of Stories and Dawn Raids historical account report
  • contestable funding for Pacific artists and historians.

These other initiatives are being delivered by the Ministry for Pacific Peoples, Creative New Zealand and New Zealand on Air.

More information

Dawn Raids (NZHistory)

If you’re interested in sharing a Dawn Raids story or have a question, please contact: [email protected]